CAZENOVIA, Wis. -- A teenager who pried open his family's gun cabinet brought two weapons to his rural school yesterday and shot the principal to death after a struggle with adults and other students, authorities said.
The 15-year-old, identified as Eric Hainstock , was taken into custody and charged as an adult with murder, the district attorney said. No one else was hurt.
Authorities said the teen had complained about being teased by other students and decided to confront teachers and the principal using a shotgun and handgun taken from his parent's bedroom. The shooting also came one day after the principal gave him a disciplinary warning for having tobacco on school grounds, according to a criminal complaint.
Witnesses said the student walked in with the shotgun before classes began. A custodian, teachers, and students wrestled with him, but he broke free, took out the handgun, and shot Weston Schools Principal John Klang three times, Sheriff Randy Stammen said.
The custodian, Dave Thompson, 43 , said the teen was a special education student who told him he was there to kill someone, but did not say who.
Thompson said the student first pointed a shotgun at a teacher's face. Thompson took away the gun, but the student then appeared to be reaching for another gun, so Thompson and the teacher took cover. Thompson ran into a kitchen to call 911.
Klang then confronted the gunman. After the shots were fired, the principal, who was wounded, wrestled him to the ground and swept the gun away, the complaint said. Klang, 49, died hours later at a hospital .
Hainstock could get life in prison if convicted, District Attorney Patricia Barrett said. Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.
Children from prekindergarten to 12th grade attend the small school near Cazenovia, a community of about 300 people about 70 miles northwest of Madison.
Klang and his three children graduated from Weston Schools. He was once a teacher, then farmed for about 18 years before returning to teaching and taking over as principal in 2004, his father, Don Klang, said.